Everything you Need to Know About Servicing Your Car
Looking after your car by regularly servicing it can save you money in expensive sudden repairs and keep fuel economy at optimum levels. By getting it serviced your garage can spot any potential issues and fix them before they become a major problem, and keep your car running smoothly. No one wants to suffer the inconvenience of a breakdown so follow these tips to keep your car running.
How often should I service my car?
Most cars will need to be serviced once a year or every 12,000 miles, however there is no one size fit’s all approach to car servicing.
Every manufacturer has a recommended service schedule for it’s cars and you should check your owner’s manual for guidance on this.
In addition to a service schedule your manufacturer will aso make recommendations for things like cambelt replacements and oil changes, so do follow these guidelines to keep your car in tip-top condition.
Many cars will display a ‘service due’ warning as part of it’s self diagnostic system. This may occur before the 12 months or 12,000 miles has been reached. It’s important not to ignore the warnings and get your car booked in for a standard (manufacturer’s) service.
What is included in a full service?
A standard car service checks the condition of your car. It can check everything from general wear and tear to brakes, the engine, and more. Every service is different depending on your vehicle’s make and model. A car service can involve up to 50 or more components, systems checks and adjustments including:
- An engine oil change and/or filter replacement
- Checking lights, tyres, exhaust and operations of brakes and steering
- Ensuring your engine is ‘tuned’ to run in its peak condition
- Checking hydraulic fluid and coolant levels
- Checking the cooling system (from radiators in your car to pumps and hoses)
- Suspension checks
- Steering alignment
- Testing the car’s battery condition
How much does a service cost?
The price of servicing and repairs will likely differ based on the car you own and where you live. Expect to pay upwards of £150 for a full service.
New car warranty and servicing
Under your new car warranty you have the right to take your car to any licenced garage or mechanic for servicing. However if you have a finance agreement you must check any stipulation about where you must go for servicing. Do make sure that the servicing is carried out exactly as per the manufacturer’s servicing schedule.
This means servicing must be undertaken on time and must use any genuine parts or lubricants specified by the manufacturer.
As well as having a 12 month or 12,000 mile full service it is also advisable to carry out a major service every 24 months.
A major service includes checks that are not covered in a standard service, such as:
- Light and electric functions
- Fitting a new air filter
- Checking the air conditioning system
- Checking wheel alignment
- Fitting new spark plugs and fuel filter (where applicable)
- Adding a fuel treatment
To keep your car in the best possible condition in between services, it’s recommended to book your car in for some routine checks with an interim service.
Areas checked are:
- Oil and screenwash levels (including top up if needed)
- Windscreen wipers
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